UV again!

Just over a week after photographing UV in his wintering grounds in N Senegal, Jean-Marie Dupart saw him again yesterday morning.

UV perched on a Baobab tree
(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

You can just see the antenna of UV’s GSM/GPS transmitter. Then UV took off and flew around the area, revealing the transmitter itself.

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UV returned to his perch after a couple of minutes.

that’s enough exercise for a while!
(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

As ever, we are very grateful to Jean-Marie for his photographs. He has just returned from a trip inland following the course of the Senegal River. Several posts about the interesting places he explored are on his website.

Posted in Abroad, Blue UV, Migration, Osprey updates | Tagged , | 7 Comments

UV is seen again. Briefly!

Jean-Marie Dupart saw UV early today – 07.50 UTC. Just before he set off towards the Senegal River mouth. Here are Jean-Marie’s photographs, showing the blue ring on the right leg (first photo) and the GSM/GPS transmitter (flying shots).

UV leaves to head for the river
(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

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Now UV’s transmitter is not working, it is wonderful to receive news of him, and Jean-Marie’s photos – and the time he devotes to UV – are very much appreciated.

The area that is UV’s winter home, and the city of Saint Louis to the north, is suffering from severe coastal erosion. Jean-Marie’s photographs here and here show damage this week. World Bank funding for remedial work may help slow the impact, but people and wildlife are threatened.

Unsurprisingly, we didn’t receive any more data from 7L/Aln in Mauritania today. Occasional insights from there are also much valued.

Posted in 7L/Aln, Abroad, Blue UV, Migration, Osprey updates | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

7L/Aln checks in

We haven’t received data from 2017 Nest 2 female 7L/Aln’s satellite tag since early March. She has a GSM/GPS transmitter, so data can only be sent if she is near a cell tower. She is well away from technology in her wintering grounds by the Mauritanian coast!

However, today she ventured north and was within range long enough to send a couple of days of precious data.

much perching by the lagoon

She spends most of her time perched by the relatively newly formed lagoons of Bellaat, which we wrote about in March.

The engineering data shows the battery is charging well, and the transmitter appears in good shape. As does 7L/Aln, whose top speed was over 70 km/h as she flew NW this morning. This image shows she was perched opposite the populated peninsula of Cap Blanc at the last fix, 12.26 UTC.

opposite Cap Blanc

It was late in 2017 when we received the first transmissions from Mauritania. Her rare trips north may be related to fish migration, but they could be chance. To know she is thriving to date is excellent news.

Posted in 7L/Aln, Abroad, Migration, Osprey updates | Tagged , | 11 Comments

First photos of UV back in his wintering grounds

2014 Nest 1 male Blue UV’s GSM/GPS transmitter failed in May this year. There were a few records of him over the summer, but we have received no news since August of his whereabouts until today. Then…

UV is spotted!
(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

Jean-Marie Dupart, who photographed UV in the Langue de Barbarie area of northern Senegal a number of times last winter, has been looking in known favourite spots for several weeks. Today, his diligence was rewarded, and he saw UV perched in a favourite Baobab a little way inland. Jean-Marie was a long way from the tree, but his photos show the antenna and/or transmitter and also the right leg blue ring.

a closer shot
(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

UV shows his blue ring
(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

UV in flight
(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

ring visible again
(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

last photo – this time!
(c) Jean-Marie Dupart

We are extremely grateful to Jean-Marie for continuing to look for UV, and wish him further successes!

Posted in Abroad, Blue UV, Migration, Osprey updates | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Intruders on the new platform

Yesterday’s post promised details of W6’s last few days on the platform after the unringed female migrated, and information about intruders.

In a sense, the two are intertwined, as W6 enjoyed the company of Mrs YA from Nest 1A for part of each of the four days immediately after ‘his’ female left. He supplied Mrs YA with fish from the start.

W6 and Mrs YA before the first fish ‘gift’
(c) Forestry Commission England

On 23 August, there were at least 2 handovers from W6, and in the evening he sought to seal the courtship!

a bit late in the season for this!
(c) Forestry Commission England

After 25 August Mrs YA wasn’t seen until 31st, when she was on briefly.

dropping in to say farewell?
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA was last seen on her own nest on 24 August – where was she when not with W6, we wonder!

After 25 August, W6 continued to eat on the nest some days, and brought material, but he was less present than when he was bonding. He wasn’t seen after the afternoon of 6 September. We look forward to his return in 2019.

Re other intruders, Mrs YA wasn’t the only Kielder resident to call in. YA landed on the nest on 12 July, when W6 and the female had been together for 2 days, as far as we know.

YA checks out the new female in the forest
(c) Forestry Commission England

He didn’t stay long. Nor did EB from Nest 2, when she touched down on 10 August.

EB and the female
(c) Forestry Commission England

Several other ospreys also landed. Some were unringed, but four were ringed. The first was seen on the trailcam before either W6 or the female. KN7 is a 2 year old from near Meikleour in Perthshire.

KN7’s first appearance
(c) Forestry Commission England

He landed on Nests 1A and 2 in August, and was on the new platform on 6 days in total. This is his last recorded presence.

KN7 and the female
(c) Forestry Commission England

One intruder made a single landing. CV9 is a 4 year old from Dumfries and Galloway.

CV9 lands…
(c) Forestry Commission England

… and moves to the rear perch
(c) Forestry Commission England

CV9 was also on the Nest 2 footage in early September. These are the only records since migration.

Another young osprey, 2 year old PX5 from the Solway area, made 4 appearances on the new platform in August. On his first, he wasn’t made welcome.

PX5 and the female…
(c) Forestry Commission England

… only briefly!
(c) Forestry Commission England

PX5 was also seen on the Nest 1A and Nest 2 footage.

The last post included a number of stills of the longest recorded intrusion, by 2 year old Freya from Border Ospreys. We’ll end with her, looking relaxed with W6.

Freya watches W6
(c) Forestry Commission England

relaxed enough to doze
(c) Forestry Commission England

A table of intruders seen over the years will be added to the Timeline shortly, and Ellie’s spreadsheet of key events over the years.

Posted in 2018 platform, Intruder, Nest 1A, Nest 2, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 6 Comments

A developing relationship

This post describes the bonding between Blue W6 and the unringed female on the new platform in Kielder Forest erected by Forestry Commission England. The first time they were seen together on the trailcam was 10 July, and we have 32 days of coverage of them, before the female was last seen on 21 August. There are a few days in the middle of the period with no recordings, but on every day of coverage both ospreys were present at some point on the nest – together and separately.

From day 1 they behaved as if the nest was theirs, moving material, scraping in the cup area and looking comfortable.

relaxed around each other
(c) Forestry Commission England

W6 scrapes 
(c) Forestry Commission England

On day 1. an unringed intruder landed on the nest when W6 was elsewhere on the fell. The female tolerated the visitor landing. It was possibly one which was briefly on the nest the first day the female was seen, 7 July.

an unringed intruder on the far right edge
(c) Forestry Commission England

But W6 wasn’t pleased, and the intruder was displaced within seconds.

W6 reclaims ‘his’ nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

He wasn’t always so protective of his territory.

The female was still doing some nest work late that evening. The times on the information strip are UTC, not BST.

a large stick arrives
(c) Forestry Commission England

There were several thousand stills most days. W6 wasn’t recorded delivering a fish to the nest until 12 July.

a hungry looking female…
(c) Forestry Commission England

… a fish arrives, not visible…
(c) Forestry Commission England

… and the female takes it
(c) Forestry Commission England

After 12 July, W6 was seen to deliver 1 or 2 fish most days, some whole and others part eaten.

a part eaten fish is handed over
(c) Forestry Commission England

As mentioned in the first post, W6 may need to refine his response to soliciting for the female to fully accept him as a breeding partner. On her last day at Kielder she solicited on and off all morning, but received nothing. Other than a stick!

where is the fish?
(c) Forestry Commission England

A few times, one or both birds roosted on nest perches.

preening in the dark
(c) Forestry Commission England

W6  – and the female – didn’t always deter other birds from landing on the nest and staying. A couple of examples follow.

We’ve already written about Blue VW, a 2015 Nest 3 female, being seen on the nest on 11 August. That post didn’t describe the circumstances. W6 had supplied a fish a few minutes before VW appeared. At this stage, the camera was triggered at 5 minute intervals.

W6 looks full as he hands over the trout
(c) Forestry Commission England

The female often flew off to eat at least part of her meal away from the nest, and that must have happened on this occasion. The next frame 5 minutes later showed VW on the nest  edge with W6 mantling.

VW looks at the camera
(c) Forestry Commission England

After that, VW was the only osprey seen until the last image of her at 11.28 UTC.

W6 returned to crouch in the cup area.

W6 back ‘home’
(c) Forestry Commission England

As non-breeders, the pair are unlikely to defend the nest against other ospreys as vigorously as breeding birds, and generally ospreys are often relatively tolerant towards a bird of the opposite gender. Especially if their mate isn’t around!

An even longer intrusion happened on 22 July. NH0 -Freya – from Border Ospreys  (over 20 miles north of Kielder) visited several Kielder Forest nests over the summer, despite bonding with  resident male Samson.

On 22 July, the female was waiting for W6 to arrive when she started mantling, and Freya settled on the rear perch.

Freya lands
(c) Forestry Commission England

W6 was next to appear.

Freya is hidden behind W6
(c) Forestry Commission England

Freya looks interested in the fish!
(c) Forestry Commission England

W6 soon disappeared. Freya held her position, and after no action from either bird, the female decided to take her fish away.

just before take off
(c) Forestry Commission England

Freya stayed on the perch for most or all of the next half hour plus, occasionally preening and stretching. She departed at 14.22 UTC, possibly ‘encouraged’ so to do, although no other bird was visible. The female returned immediately.

back, but being swooped at by Freya…
(c) Forestry Commision England

…who lands again
(c) Forestry Commission England

Freya was off and back over the next few minutes, and the female decided to leave for a more peaceful spot. So Freya returned.

one of several landings
(c) Forestry Commission England

She eventually left at 15.08 UTC. The next osprey to land was W6, nearly an hour later.

Whatever conclusions are drawn about the nest occupants’ behaviour, there is no doubt that Freya is a confident 2 year old, to say the least!

There will be a final post about W6’s last few days before migration and details of other intruders on the new platform.


Posted in 2018 platform, Intruder, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 6 Comments

Headlines about the new nest platform

On 19 October a post revealed that 2015 Nest 3 Blue VW had landed on a new nest platform in Kielder Forest, and promised more about the use of the platform.

There is still some analysis outstanding, but the key findings are that a pair of ospreys were bonding there between 10 July and the female’s departure on 21 or 22 August, and there was also significant – albeit intermittent – interest from other ospreys.

The female was first seen on the trailcam on 7 July.

the female soon after landing
(c) Forestry Commission England

On 10 July, a male appeared on the nest and the pair tolerated each other well. This may not have been the first meeting, but it is the first on record.

W6 lands next to the female
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blue W6, a 2015 male from the Welsh ON4 nest, also known as the B/M nest, was an intruder at Kielder on and off in 2017 and was photographed at Bakethin in early June.

At 3 years old W6 would have been quite young to breed this year, but he knows the moves!

one of many attempts on day 1 by W6
(c) Forestry Commission England

The female was never responsive – it was far too late to breed. But she didn’t show impatience at W6’s enthusiasm, which was tempered after day 1 together.

With Nests 1 and 2 occupied by the Glaslyn brothers, will Kielder benefit from another young Welsh osprey deciding to breed here next year?

The pair were faithful to the nest platform from then on.  They occupied it for at least part of the day and sometimes virtually 24 hours, roosting on perches.

If both return from migration, there is cautious optimism that they will try and breed next year. The caveats are i) that although she has remained with him, W6 doesn’t respond to the female soliciting for food as promptly as she would like, and ii) interest by other ospreys could disrupt the promising partnership.

There’ll be more in the next few days about the development of their relationship and also the intrusion aspect. Meanwhile, we’ll end with some photos from their last day together.

‘where’s breakfast?’
(c) Forestry Commission England

‘now it’s lunch time’
(c) Forestry Commission England

the last afternoon together this year
(c) Forestry Commission England

Posted in 2018 platform, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 9 Comments

Current Nest 3 news!

Hot on the rather dated news that 2015 Nest 3 Blue VW successfully returned to Kielder Forest this year, we have ‘hot off the press’ information about a 2018 Nest 3 juvenile.

Yesterday, Renato Bagarrão photographed Blue 224, named Bywell, at Tavira in SE Portugal. He has kindly shared his great image.

Blue 224, Bywell, in Tavira
(c) Renato Bagarrão

Doesn’t Bywell look in good condition? Renato watched her foraging, unsuccessfully, on the Rio Gilão then she headed towards the sea. This image shows Bywell’s location.

foraging area circled, information courtesy Renato Bagarrão

This map shows Tavira’s surrounding area.

courtesy Google maps

The coastal area between Tavira and Faro is the site of a Birdlife International IBA (Important Bird and Biodiversity Area), the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. It is home to some overwintering ospreys, but is also a departure point for onward migration to Africa.

Coincidentally, 9L/Archer, the only Nest 3 juvenile to have carried a GSM/GPS transmitter, spent part of a day in the western part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa before crossing to Africa in September 2017.

Bywell may follow suit, but Renato will be keeping an eye out for that 224 ring and will keep us updated. We are very grateful to him for sharing his photograph and his interest in Kielder Ospreys.

Posted in Abroad, Migration, Nest 3, Osprey updates | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Late news but great news!

After the end of the 2017 season, Forestry Commission England and the Kielder ornithologist identified a suitable site for a new telegraph pole and platform to be erected, and the work was completed in early 2018. A trailcam was installed so that at the end of this season activity could be assessed. Field observations showed that there was intermittent interest by ospreys (and other birds, especially a kestrel) until July, when activity increased. There are literally tens of thousands of images to be scrolled through, but work is well underway. To supplement chronological analysis, occasionally random photos are checked, and one such occasion resulted in finding a new returner to Kielder. 11 August was the red letter day – not that we realised at the time.

Blue VW lands
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blue VW is the second Nest 3 offspring to be seen after migration to our knowledge. She hatched in 2015, so may have returned to the UK last year. She is the first female Kielder offspring to be captured on a camera in Kielder Forest.

VW looks at the camera
(c) Forestry Commission England

As you can see, another osprey was on the nest at 12.08 BST (the trailcam doesn’t adjust for BST.). By the next frame, VW was alone.

checking the area
(c) Forestry Commission England

She was in the area – possibly not always on the nest – for at least 20 minutes.

back to the nest from the edge
(c) Forestry Commission England

There will be more posts soon covering the findings from the photographs. For the moment, it is an unexpected thrill for us to find VW has survived for three years, and hopefully she will return many more times. Her father did not come back this Spring, but his legacy lives on in VW.

Posted in Nest 3, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged , | 15 Comments

An osprey and other birds

The three streaming cameras are still recording, although the number of visits by birds is reducing. This post covers the last week. But firstly, we have received details of the last intruder spotted on a nestcam. Blue CV9 landed briefly on Nest 2 on 5 September. Bamburgh wasn’t happy!

CV9 comes into view
(c) Forestry Commission England

CV9 was ringed in 2014 in west Kirkcudbrightshire, so a Dumfries and Galloway area osprey.

CV9 has a few moments on the rear of the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

Twelve ringed ospreys have been identified over the season by analysing the nestcam footage for intruders, or from visitor photographs.

Currently, on some days there have been no birds of any species landing on the nests. Ravens are now infrequent. Nest 1A had the last recorded visitor.

a raven leans into the wind
(c) Forestry Commission England

The only other bird seen on Nest 1A was a female great spotted woodpecker, who stayed at the side of the pole for 20 minutes before deciding to check out the top. Press HD for best quality on the clips.

The kestrel that has been using Nest 4 as a perch and place to eat prey hasn’t been seen since 1 October. On the previous day, most of a vole was swallowed after a few delicate bites.

The last visitors recorded there were four mistle thrushes.

The subtitle of the blog is ‘ospreys and other wildlife’. The latter category is receiving a bit more coverage than most years!

Posted in Intruder, Nest 1A, Nest 4, Osprey updates, UK | 5 Comments